CLEVELAND -- Vytas Apanavicius, 44, of Mentor, was charged in a criminal information with one count of conspiracy to commit theft or embezzlement from a credit union.

A former external bookkeeper of Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union, Apanavicius was charged today for engaging in a conspiracy that defrauded the credit union out of nearly $1 million, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cleveland office.

Apanavicius owned VPA Accounting Inc., through which he provided bookkeeping and accounting services from 1995 through 2013. These services included recording month-end journal entries for general ledger accounts, paying and recording monthly expenses and compiling monthly balance sheets and income statements, according to the information.

From at least 2001, Apanavicius controlled six accounts at Taupa. In his role as external bookkeeper, Apanavicius became aware that Taupa CEO Alex Spirikaitis routinely deposited and transferred Taupa funds into member accounts to cover multiple overdrafts, according to the information.

Apanavicius then withdrew funds from his accounts and did not maintain sufficient balances to cover withdrawals. Spirikaitis deposited and transferred Taupa funds into Apanavicius' accounts to cover his overdrafts and withdrawals, according to the information.

Spirikaitis, 51, of Solon, Michael Ruksenas, 33, of Naples, Florida, and John Struna, 51, of Concord Township, have previously been charged for their roles in the conspiracy.

Spirikaitis caused Taupa to make approximately 72 false and fraudulent deposits and transfers into Apanavicius' accounts. He also provided Apanavicius with approximately $25,000 in fraudulent proceeds from Taupa for the purchase of a new Jeep Cherokee, according to the information.

As a result of that conspiracy, Taupa and the NCUA suffered a loss of approximately $962,689, according to the information.

The National Credit Union Administration and the Ohio Department of Commerce took possession of Taupa last July and placed it into receivership due to its insolvency. Taupa had about 1,150 members and assets of approximately $24 million, according to court records.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Patton and Special Assistant United States Attorney Derek Kleinmann. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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